How to avoid being 'stabbed'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 March, 2011, 12:00am


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Last week, we explored fung shui strategies that could help ensure a smooth start to a new job. But what if you are the newcomer's manager or colleague? What do you do to promote harmonious relationships ahead?

Consider how everyone is seated in the office. If you sit with your back to the door or a window, you could be 'stabbed' by your colleagues, as the unstable chi, or energy, generated by the constant movement behind you will manifest itself as unpredictable and unpleasant changes. A new colleague sitting in such a way will have a greater chance of being gossiped about. The best solution would be to reorient the desk so that he or she would sit with his or her back to a wall that would provide support and improve personal interactions.

Also note how the desks are aligned and ensure no one is sitting with the corners of their desk pointing at someone else. Having someone else's desk corner aimed at you will result in negative energy being directed at you, giving rise to conflicts. So make sure the desks are aligned parallel.

Try to have screens or barriers between desks so as to demarcate everyone's work space. While an open plan office in theory allows everyone to interact freely, some people may find it distracting. The screens should be of an adequate height. Having screens that are too high will result in colleagues feeling distant from one another.

Desk ornaments also matter. A statue of an ancient Chinese soldier armed with a spear may cause tension between colleagues due to the sha chi generated by such an aggressive ornament, especially if the weapon's sharp end is directed at others. It is better to place more neutral items on your desk.